Environmental Management

News & Resources

Regional Goal

Our natural and cultural environment is an asset that is protected, preserved and enjoyed through sustainable management.

Programme Goal

The Environmental Management Programme goal is:

  • to contribute to supporting the regional goal to protect and preserve the region’s natural and cultural environmental assets through sustainable management practices.

Programme Objectives

The Environmental Programme component will:

  • promote the sustainable management of natural resources
  • manage the effects of climate change, tidal inundation and erosion
  • increase the utilisation of renewable energies
  • reduce the environmental impacts of waste management
  • improve land management for future generations.

The Environmental Management Programme goal is to contribute to supporting the regional goal to protect and preserve the region’s natural and cultural environmental assets through sustainable management practices.

Programme Deliverables

  • Strengthened sustainable use, protection and management of natural and cultural resources.
  • Improved community adaptation to climate change impacts, including sea level rise.
  • Increased uptake of renewable energy for the Torres Strait.
  • Support community sustainable horticulture.

a photograph of Environmental Management team

Environmental Management team.

Programme Appropriation Expenditure 2014 - 2015

Table 2-18: Environmental Management Programme appropriation expenditure, 2014 - 2015 (unaudited)

Budget
$’000
Actual
$’000
Variance
$’000
4,579 4,699 (120)

Programme External Funding Expenditure 2014 - 2015

Table 2-19: Environmental Management Programme Appropriation Expenditure, 2014 - 2015 (unaudited)

Budget
$’000
Actual
$’000
Variance
$’000
9,747 9,655 92

Torres Strait Development Plan Outcomes

  • Strengthened sustainable use, protection and management of natural and cultural resources.
  • Improved community adaptation to climate change impacts, including sea level rise.
  • Increased uptake of renewable energy for Torres Strait.
  • Support community sustainable horticulture.

Programme Performance

Activity Flag Status
Invasive species management a gray circle The invasive species project has been delayed pending a commitment from the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) to jointly develop the regional pest management strategy. TSIRC have now committed to supporting the consultative arrangements and the project is scheduled to proceed in 2015 - 2016.
Ranger programme a yellow circle A total of 45 rangers and three trainees, plus support staff, are employed by the TSRA across the outer island communities. Rangers are leaders in their communities, and are well respected in their roles.
Environmental education officer project a yellow circle The TSRA’s partnership with Tagai State College continues to deliver natural resource management engagement with regional school participants.
Adaptation planning and implementation a gray circle A regional workshop was held on 10 June 2015. Workshops have been conducted on Boigu and St Pauls. Action plans are being reviewed by state agencies. The adaptation plan is in the final review phase and is scheduled for release in 2015 - 2016.
Alternate energy project a gray circle The TSRA held discussions with Ergon Energy and other renewable energy providers in 2014 - 2015. The alternate energy project plan has been agreed and implementation will start in 2015 - 2016.
Biodiversity management and planning a yellow circle In 2014 - 2015, biodiversity surveys of Badu recorded 124 animal species, confirming the region’s healthy ecosystem.
Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) a yellow circle In 2014 - 2015, three IPAs were managed in the Torres Strait. The Environmental Programme case study on page 68 provides further detail on those IPAs.
Land and sea management in the Torres Strait a yellow circle The land and sea management strategy for the Torres Strait will underpin regional natural and cultural resource management priorities for the next five years. Community engagement on the strategy will continue into 2015 - 2016.
Seagrass and other research activities a yellow circle In 2014 - 2015, the TSRA continued to work closely with researchers from universities and other organisations to support the Torres Strait natural management.
Sustainable horticulture project a yellow circle This project has focused on establishing community gardens and teaching people how to grow and prepare healthy foods. Community garden projects have been sustained for several years and the result will be reviewed in 2015 - 2016 to determine whether this is the most effective means of delivering the outcome. This activity also has outcomes for the TSRA’s Healthy Communities Programme.
Traditional ecological knowledge a yellow circle In 2014 -2015, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge project was in high demand across the region, with four systems in place. Additional systems will be established in 2015 - 2016.
Turtle and dugong management a yellow circle Each community in the outer islands has a community-based management plan for dugong and turtle that is being implemented with the support of the TSRA. The plans combine the traditional use of these species with modern management arrangements and support the sustainable use of dugong and turtle across the region. A dugong and turtle management plan for the Kaiwalagal region was being developed by Traditional Owners and the TSRA in 2014 -2015.
Legend
an open circle
Not yet started
a yellow circle
Completed / On schedule
a gray circle
Behind schedule less than three months
a black circle
Behind schedule more than three months

a photograph of Kulkalgal Indigenous Protected Area sign-off

Kulkalgal Indigenous Protected Area sign-off.

a photograph of Environmental Management staff with Warraber Elder Mr Nelson Billy

Environmental Management staff with Warraber Elder Mr Nelson Billy.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator Flag Status
Number of actions in the Climate Change Strategy and associated action plans implemented. a yellow circle A draft regional adaptation and resilience action plan was developed (community workshops are scheduled in 2015 - 2016). An expert workshop to review the science and methodology of the adaptation and resilience planning was completed. The ownership of regional sea-level gauges was transferred to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Number of agreements in place with energy providers to reduce reliance on non-renewable diesel fuel usage for electricity production. a gray circle Ergon Energy has indicated strong interest in working with the TSRA to progress the uptake of renewable energy in the region. A project brief was approved and project plan developed. Discussion is in progress regarding the scope and responsibilities to develop and deliver a regional energy strategy.
Number of inhabited islands with active food producing community gardens in place. a gray circle Whilst community interest in horticulture activities is high, participation has been low. An external review of this activity in 2014 - 2015 recommended that the TSRA refocus efforts on providing technical advice to communities and individuals rather than supporting and establishing community gardens.
Legend
an open circle
Not yet started
a yellow circle
KPI achieved
a gray circle
KPI partially achieved
a black circle
KPI not achieved

a photograph of rangers doing beach clean up

Rangers doing beach clean up.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

  • Number of endorsed community-based management plans for the natural and cultural resources of the region being actively implemented.
  • Number of actions in the Climate Change Strategy and associated action plans implemented.
  • Number of agreements in place with energy providers to reduce reliance on non-renewable diesel fuel usage for electricity production.
  • Number of inhabited islands with active food producing community gardens in place.

Figure 2-6: Environmental Management Programme Map

Figure 2-6: Environmental Management Programme Map

Case Study: Indigenous Protected Areas in the Torres Strait

The TSRA, with funding from the Australian Government, is supporting Traditional Owners of the region to consider, dedicate and manage Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) on their lands to promote natural and cultural resource conservation as part of Australia’s National Reserve System.

IPAs make a significant contribution to Australian biodiversity conservation – making up over a third of Australia’s National Reserve System.

The Torres Strait IPA project covers three areas: Warul Kawa IPA, Pulu Islet IPA and the recently declared Warraberalgal Porumalgal IPA.

Aims

The project delivers the Australian Government’s IPA programme in the Torres Strait by supporting communities to identify, dedicate, and manage IPA’s in the Torres Strait region.

The goals of the IPA project are to:

  • support Indigenous land owners to develop, declare and manage IPAs on their lands as part of Australia’s National Reserve System
  • support Indigenous interests to develop cooperative management arrangements with government agencies managing protected areas
  • support the integration of Indigenous ecological and cultural knowledge with contemporary protected area management practices.

Declaration of the Warraberalgal Porumalgal IPA

The Warraberalgal and Porumalgal IPA was initiated in 2010 after the TSRA’s Land and Sea Management Unit conducted workshops across the Torres Strait to inform Traditional Owners about the IPA programme and the opportunities for communities to establish IPAs in their region. The TSRA worked with Elders from Warraber and Poruma to produce a plan of management for the area.

A community meeting was held on 30 October 2012 to endorse the plan and it was decided that nine islands in the Warraber and Poruma people’s native title determination would be declared as an IPA.

On the 19 June 2014, Traditional Owners from Warraber and Poruma wrote to the Australian Government to advise of the dedication of the Warraberalgal and Porumalgal IPA, and a formal dedication ceremony was held on 18 July 2014.

The Land and Sea Management Unit, under the direction of those Traditional Owners, organised the celebratory day to recognise the dedication of the IPA. At the Traditional Owners’ request, a feast and celebration was held during the day for all community members to recognise the hard work and dedication of those involved in the creation of the IPA.

The TSRA, including rangers from associated communities, continue to actively support the implementation of plans of management for all IPAs in the region.

a photograph of Warraber, street view

Warraber, street view.